Uruguay vs. England: Last-Minute Live Stream and Preview for 2014 World Cup

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Uruguay vs. England: Last-Minute Live Stream and Preview for 2014 World Cup
Bruno Magalhaes/Associated Press

After each losing their opening matches of this summer's World Cup, England and Uruguay know that Thursday's meeting in Sao Paulo is do-or-die time as far as their hopes for progressing are concerned.

Roy Hodgson's men fell 2-1 to a spirited Italian side on Saturday, but La Celeste's 3-1 defeat to Costa Rica was a far more damaging display and one the South Americans will want to get over quickly.

A second loss for either team would almost certainly rule out qualification for the round of 16, and you can find all the last-minute viewing information and a preview detailed below.

Date: Thursday, June 19

Time: 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET

Live Stream: ITV Player (UK), ESPN Player (US, subscription required)

TV Info: ITV (UK), ESPN (US)

 

Top Talking Points

Blame It on the Turf

Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Though a slight advantage it may be, England will be more familiar with the Arena da Sao Paulo's playing surface than that of their Uruguayan counterparts.

As explained by Dougal Shaw of BBC News, the surface is a hybrid intended for all-weather use and is the only one of its kind in this tournament: four percent polyethylene and 96 percent grass.

Speaking of managers' interest in playing surfaces Thursday, the report quotes Pitchcare's David Saltman saying:

Look, when I was groundsman before a cup final. Every manager was intrigued by the pitch. They would come up to me and ask, 'How is the pitch going to perform?'. And they would often then incorporate this into their team talks, 'It's a greasy pitch today, try swinging some crosses in,' that sort of thing.

We groundsmen used to be viewed as cloth cap-wearing blokes sitting in a tin can shed. Now people are starting to realise how much science is involved.

A majority of Premier League grounds have made use of such engineering and so Hodgson's men perhaps aren't as likely to be caught out by an unusual bounce or an unforeseen trajectory, and they'll need all the help they can get against Oscar Tabarez's men.

 

The Value of Victory

Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press

The World Cup is the pinnacle of any player's career, and so players are often willing to do anything to win, as proven by Luis Suarez's infamous sending off for a handball on the line against Ghana in 2010.

And it appears Uruguay may again be willing to go to severe lengths in order to keep their tournament dreams alive, according to Diego Lugano, via Reuters (h/t The Guardian):

It’s life or death on Thursday. We’re up against two of the best in the world now [England and Italy]. It’s an enormous challenge. 

We were annoyed, furious, disappointed. But you have to be mature and understand this is football, mistakes cost you hard. Now we’re united again.

Sam Cunningham of the Daily Mail previously quoted Gus Poyet in backing up such desperate claims, saying his countrymen will use every tactic in the book to get out of their group, but are England willing to do the same?

Such mind games are just one area in which the Three Lions will need to match their South American foes if they're to maintain hopes of reaching the round of 16.

 

Rooney's Referee Returns?

Jon Super/Associated Press

Wayne Rooney will have a familiar face overseeing England's Uruguayan test on Thursday, after it was announced by Sky Sports that Carlos Velasco Carballo had been named to officiate the fixture:

Fans will know Carballo as the man who controversially showed Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger a red card for a challenge on Rooney in their Champions League meeting last season.

There was much debate over that call, and Carballo will hope for a quieter 90 minutes when England and Uruguay clash, but the prize at stake may make for a tense atmosphere fraught with a similar need for good judgement.

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